The next issue of The Winnipeg Sun Headline News will soon be in your inbox. Patricia Sellars, a fresh water scientist, released her study a year ago, and in an interview with CBC radio in mid-June, explained that what’s described as “legacy mercury” can be re-mobilized and carried downstream. Today we carry the voices of 35,000 people who echo Grassy Narrows’ cry for justice. In the late 1950’s and early 60’s it became evident the disease, which manifested as epileptic-like behavior with violent seizures, a loss of balance and slurred speech, was understood to be the result of mercury poisoning the people. March 5th, 2019 Ford government needs to start Grassy Narrows mercury clean-up now: NDP QUEEN’S PARK — During question period on Tuesday, NDP MPP Sol Mamakwa, said that after 200 days in office, the Ford government needs to stop delaying and start cleaning up mercury contamination in Grassy Narrows immediately. The federal and provincial governments cleaning up the Wabigoon River will show a new era has dawned in our relationship with indigenous peoples. Silent Spring introduced the concept of bioaccumulation, the increasing concentration of toxic material from one link in a food chain to the next. “It has been frustrating,” Rudd said. All rights reserved @ Radio Canada International 2018, a nearby pulp mill dumped its effluent into the watershed. In 1957 researchers concluded the toxic disorder of the central nervous system was caused by certain organic mercury compounds transmitted through seafood. Read more about cookies here. “Currently there is no evidence to suggest that mercury levels in the river system are such that any remediation, beyond continuing natural recovery is warranted or advisable,” Gary Wheeler responded in an email to CBC News. Earlier this week, media reports emerged about a former labourer at the mill who says that as part of his job in 1972, he buried more than 50 barrels of mercury and salt in a pit near Grassy Narrows. Benjamin says that even today people are still suffering the adverse effects of mercury poisoning. © 2020 Winnipeg Sun, a division of Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved. The Ontario government says it is “completely committed” to finding sites that are contaminated with mercury near Grassy Narrows and putting in place a plan to clean up the toxin. We’re going to build a brighter future.” Turtle would eventually lose the MP role to Eric Melillo of the Conservative party. The fur trade shifted this practice toward trapping smaller animals and trading their furs. She said there's "engagement right now to try to discern exactly what this alleged source (of mercury) is.". Sign up to receive daily headline news from the Winnipeg SUN, a division of Postmedia Network Inc. A welcome email is on its way. The Supreme Court of Canada says it will hear a legal dispute over whether the Ontario government can force Weyerhaeuser … In addition to protesting their government, the community turned to more traditional means as well. Generations of Activism: The Grassy Narrows First Nation’s Fight for Clean Water Donate Now In the 1960s, a chemical company used large amounts of mercury in a process that bleached paper. According to CBC reporter Kelly Crowe, Dr. Masazumi Harada, a Japanese scientist who specialized in mercury contamination in Japan. According to a report by the province last year, one meal of Grassy Narrows fish contains up to 150 times the safe daily mercury limit recommended by the U.S. EPA. We encountered an issue signing you up. Does this victory signal that the province is willing to take real action to clean up Grassy Narrows? Leaders of a northern Ontario First Nation are demanding action after new allegations about mercury dumping upstream from their community. Mercury in the Wabigoon River has caused brain damage in Grassy Narrows residents. by. But she still has not committed to cleaning up the waters upstream of Grassy Narrows. Babies were being born with brain damage and extreme physical disabilities and more than 100 people died of the condition. As an instrument of class society, the state serves the interests of the ruling class, which in … He said that means the First Nation doesn't know "if those barrels are leaking into the water table and again contaminating the waterway.". Chris Young/The Canadian Press The leaders of all three of Ontario’s major political parties pledged Friday to clean up a mercury-contaminated river … In the Grassy Narrows region, native people first noticed the disappearance of the otter and the mink. The federal and provincial governments cleaning up the Wabigoon River will show a new era has dawned in our relationship with indigenous peoples. 'Everyone is suffering' from the mercury poisoning, Bill Fobister, 69, of Grassy Narrows First Nation told CBC News in September 2014, when Japanese mercury experts visited the community.Photo Credit: CBC / Jody Porter, By Carmel Kilkenny | [email protected]: Monday, May 30, 2016 17:13 Tomorrow a delegation from the community is travelling to Toronto, to raise awareness of the contamination issues. They have produced a video for their "Thirsty for Justice" campaign focusing on the situation at Grassy Narrows. So have many in Wabaseemoong Independent Nations, also known as Whitedog First Nation, about 130 kilometres away. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said her government wants to get to the bottom of the allegations. Residents of Grassy Narrows First Nation, about 100 kilometres northeast of Kenora, Ont., have grappled with long-standing mental and physical health issues due to toxic mercury levels in the nearby English-Wabigoon River. Traditionally, Ojibwe hunted large game for subsistence. He was calling on the government to provide support for the Grassy Narrows community, and the clean-up of mercury in the English and Wabigoon River system. There was an error, please provide a valid email address. Ontario's environment minister and the minister of indigenous relations and reconciliation are scheduled to visit Grassy Narrows on June 27 and are taking scientists with them to try to figure out what's happening there. M. ercury flowed into the English-Wabigoon water system between 1962 and 1970. was understood to be the result of mercury poisoning the people. Grassy Narrows, near the Manitoba boundary, has dealt with mercury poisoning since the Dryden Chemical Co. dumped 9,000 kilograms of it into the Wabigoon and … The problem is a lack of political will. Some information in it may no longer be current. Grassy Narrows has dealt with mercury poisoning since a paper mill in Dryden, Ont., dumped 9,000 kilograms of the substance into the Wabigoon and English River systems in the 1960s. We apologize, but this video has failed to load. Grassy Narrows, near the Manitoba boundary, has dealt with mercury poisoning since the Dryden Chemical Co. dumped 9,000 kilograms of it into the Wabigoon and English River systems during the 1960s. Soil samples that showed hundreds of times the mercury level of a nearby uncontaminated site were taken from an area behind the Dryden paper mill where former mill worker Kas Glowacki said he buried 50 barrels of mercury and salt in 1972. Grassy Narrows youth were one of ten global cases focused on young human rights defenders leading the charge for change in their communities. At a news conference in Winnipeg on Tuesday, Chief Simon Fobister Sr. suggested the new allegations don't stem from the same site as the acknowledged dumping. Grassy Narrow’s fight for clean water began almost immediately after the discovery of mercury in the water. “He’s said a lot of good words, but hasn’t delivered action – one of the biggest examples is the poisoning of Grassy Narrows and not cleaning up that mercury. The report on the high levels of mercury in Grassy Narrows waterways was released on the same day the province’s premier, Kathleen Wynne, issued “a formal apology for the abuses of the past”. Grassy Narrows is in the spotlight again following the release today of the latest study to find the decades-old mercury contamination in the waterways can be cleaned up, and should be cleaned up. Cleaning Up Mercury a Must in Grassy Narrows. “Mercury contamination has had a profound impact on the people of Grassy Narrows First Nation and Wabaseemoong (Whitedog) Independent Nations, and has to be properly addressed,” Environment … by ahnationtalk on June 2, 2016 315 Views. OPINION: The government plans to order a pulp and paper company to help clean up the mercury pollution around Grassy Narrows, but may delay justice even longer in the process By John Michael McGrath - Published on Jun 09, 2017 The cleanup of Grassy Narrows may face yet another delay, based on the Liberal government's latest decision. In May and June 2016, the fourth of these River Runs drew a $600,000 pledge from Premier Kathleen Wynne for renewed mercury testing and a new mercury working group. 0 Comments. Water bottles are seen at the local water supply site on the Grassy Narrows First Nation, in northwestern Ontario, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. The Ojibwa First Nation community, 80 kilometres north of Kenora, in northwestern Ontario was severely affected when a nearby pulp mill dumped its effluent into the watershed. By the 1970’s it was understood something was wrong. A search on the ministry’s website using the name Grassy Narrows, reveals no links to any mercury problems. Nearly five decades after mercury was dumped in the river upstream from their home, the people of Grassy Narrows First Nation have received a clear … TORONTO — Premier Kathleen Wynne insists she’s “deadly serious” about wanting to clean up the mercury contamination that has plagued the Grassy Narrows First Nation for decades, but doesn’t want to make the situation worse. Grassy Narrows' Fight for Clean Water Is A Struggle for Environmental Justice ... contains up to 150 times the amount of mercury deemed safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mercury flowed into the English-Wabigoon water system between 1962 and 1970. They migrated northward and westward during the late 17th and early 18th centuries in search of animals to supply the fur trade. This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has reviewed John Rudd’s report and disagrees with its conclusions. Environment Minister Glen Murray announced in Jun 2017 article, CBC news: Ontario will spend $85 million to clean up industrial mercury contamination that is poisoning the people at Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong First Nations in NW Ont However, members of the Grassy Narrows band have suggested the government has known about the situation for too long without doing anything about it. A report authored by five mercury experts and released earlier this year suggested mercury could still be leaking into the river system. She said he “, diagnosed at least 60 cases of Minamata disease in Grassy Narrows, another 54 cases of Minamata-with-complications and a further two dozen suspected cases.”, Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Chang, UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Climate scientists ask Canada to reject LNG project. Eventually the commercial fishery was closed which ended the guiding native people had been employed in, and the fish they depended on as a source of food was toxic. John Rudd was part of that team and now he is the lead author of this most recent research, commissioned by Grassy Narrows First Nation. Thanks in part to these efforts, the government in Ontario, Canada announced on February 13, 2017 that it is completely committed to identifying mercury contamination near Grassy Narrows and cleaning up the toxins. 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